Lead in Michigan: MSU Extension launches website full of educational resources on lead
Lead exposure is an issue that concerns thousands of people in communities throughout Michigan
EAST LANSING, Michigan – The national spotlight is on Flint as it deals with wide-ranging issues related to lead in the water supply, but lead exposure is not just a Flint problem. In fact, hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents, including many young children, live in areas with elevated lead levels.
Detroit, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Jackson, Holland, Albion, Adrian, Hasting, Three Rivers, Bay City, Ludington, Manistee Three Rivers, and the Upper Peninsula have all had pockets where children have elevated lead levels, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services data. This exposure is not from the water supply as in Flint, but instead through lead-based paints and lead residue in soil.
Michigan State University Extension is committed to bringing nutrition and early childhood education with an increased emphasis on combatting the effects of lead exposure to communities in need. MSU Extension, working with partners including the Pediatric Public Health Initiative in Flint, is working to create new resources and modify existing resources to detail how people can use nutrition to fight the effects of lead, and what resources are available in at-risk communities.
MSU Extension has launched the Fight Lead Exposure website (http://msue.msu.edu/lead) as an informational resource hub for people to learn about lead including the risks and what to do if they concerned themselves, a young child or a loved one has been exposed to lead.
“Our responsibility is to be as responsive as possible to meet the needs of the communities we serve, and MSU Extension is working to get as much trusted information as possible to communities in need,” said Jeff Dwyer, interim director of MSU Extension.
Included are upcoming educational opportunities, helpful news articles ranging from nutrition to soil contamination to how pets could be affected. Also included on the resource page is the Fight Lead with Nutrition flyer, which details how foods rich in nutrients including calcium, iron and vitamin C can help mitigate the effects of lead. It also lists a series of Genesee County and statewide resources for people to get help.
“We are proud of our how our educators are working to meet this pressing need,” Dwyer said. “All our educators, whether they work in the fields of nutrition, early childhood education, agriculture or community sustainability are working hard to figure out what they can do to help the people of Flint and elsewhere in Michigan dealing with the insidious issue of lead.”
For more information, please visit http://msue.msu.edu/lead.